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Ergonomics 101: What Are The 7 Main Principles Of Good Ergonomics

13 October 2023

What Is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is the study of people in the workplace. It aims to design and develop ways to improve efficiency in the workplace while decreasing fatigue and discomfort while performing routine tasks. The goal of ergonomics is to design improved methods to do tasks that align with the body rather than the other way around. This allows the people performing tasks to boost their productivity, maximize efficiency and decrease the risk of injuries and discomfort.



What Are The 7 Principles Of Ergonomics?

Ergonomics observes how workers perform their tasks and develops ways to make performing these tasks more comfortable, safer, and more accessible for them.

1. Keep Your Tools And Materials Within Easy Reach

Assess your reach envelope. You can do this by extending your arms in front of you and making a semicircle in the air. This is your reach envelope. Try to keep all your tools and materials within this area so that you do not have to extend your arms beyond this point. This helps to reduce fatigue and strain and minimizes the risk of discomfort and injuries.

2. Minimize The Need For Excessive Force

Lifting and pushing heavy items requires a lot of force, and it can be painful and damaging for the joints and strain other parts of your body. Use smart ways to lift and move objects without excessive force. Use carts where possible and use machinery instead of manually bending or lifting heavy objects.

3. Work At The Correct Height

Always perform all your tasks at the correct height. This is at elbow level. Working at a height that is above or below this level can strain the neck, back, and shoulders. The same rule applies to sitting or standing while performing the tasks. Regardless of whether you are sitting or standing while working, it must be remembered to work at elbow height rather than too high or too low.

4. Take Frequent Breaks To Move And Stretch

Whether your job requires sitting or standing for extended periods, staying in one position for too long is not recommended. For this reason, it is advised to take frequent breaks to stretch and move your muscles. You may do that while you remain in the same place or take a walk or move around your office. Try to take a break after every 30-40 minutes for a few minutes to allow your muscles to relax and your joints to move. If you remain in one position for too long, your muscles tend to tighten up and stiffen.

5. Work In A Neutral Position

Be aware of your neutral and most relaxed position. This is your natural posture and the least stressful position your body assumes. It is best if you aim to assume a neutral posture while working at all times. Your spine has a natural 'S-shaped curve; you must maintain that when you are sitting or standing to avoid putting strain on your spine and causing it to become misaligned.

The Correct Standing Posture

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart

Both feet should be planted flat and firm on the ground

The legs should be straight, and the knees should not be bent

Head should be held straight, and eyes can be focused on something right in front

The monitor or screen should be placed at eye level right in front of the head but at an arm's distance

The elbows should be bent at 90 degrees and resting on an armrest or the table

The keyboard, mouse, or any other work material should be within an arm's distance on the desk

The shoulders should not be hunched or raised. They should be relaxed and rolled backward

The back should be straight, and the natural curve of the spine should be maintained

The head should not be bent over, the neck should not be craned, and the arms should not be extended

The Correct Sitting Posture

Sit with both feet planted on the ground

Knees should be bent at 90 degrees and not less or more

Feet must not hang above the ground

The back should be straight and not hunched, slouched, or bent

There should be adequate backrests supporting the natural curves in the spine

The head should be held straight to avoid any extra strain on the neck and shoulders

The shoulders should be relaxed and rolled backward in a comfortable position

The arms should be bent at 90 degrees, supported by armrests, and everything should be easy to access and within reach to reduce making an extra effort and putting extra strain on reaching for items

6. Reduce Making Any Jerky Or Unnecessary Movements

Repetitive movements and jerky movements can cause injuries and overexertion caused by overuse and repetitive movements.

7. Leave Clearance

Make sure that there is enough room around you for your head, knees, feet, and arms. While you are working, there needs to be enough legroom to work comfortably without feeling like you have no space. There needs to be enough space around your head so that you don't bump into objects. There needs to be good visibility and a clear view of everything around you in the workplace.



How Is Ergonomics Incorporated In The Office?

There are many ways that you can incorporate ergonomics in your office to improve efficiency and boost productivity in the workplace.

Ergonomic Lighting

Working in the correct lighting is extremely important. Without adequate lighting, it would be impossible for you to carry out all your tasks, and it makes you feel drowsy and lazy during work. Dim lighting can cause eye strain and discomfort, making it very difficult to get any work done. Ergonomic lighting is the ideal lighting that brightens up your work space and does not strain your eyes. Dim lighting can cause eye strain and headaches, make the user drowsy and lazy, and decrease productivity in the workplace.

Flexispot has a large variety of fantastic ergonomic lighting options that you can use to brighten up any office space.

Ergonomic Office Chair

An ergonomic office chair is one that maintains your body in the ideal sitting posture during work. It has all the features that are ideal for maximizing productivity and efficiency in the workplace while putting the least amount of stress on the body. It has the following features:

Adjustable height

Wide seat

Breathable seat fabric

Adequate lumbar support

Adequate backrest

Armrest

Headrest

Footrest

FlexiSpot has some of the best ergonomic office chairs that are ideal for use in the office or a home office. There are many different options to choose from, and you can select the one that suits you best.

Ergonomic Office Desk

An ergonomic office desk has the following features:

It should be wide enough

It should be durable and made with long-lasting and good-quality material

The desk should be of the appropriate height, or it should have a height adjustability feature so that it can be used as a standing desk as well

It should be easy to clean in case of spills

If you are looking for an ideal ergonomic desk for your office or a home office, FlexiSpot is the best place to shop for these. You can choose between different types and select the one you like most.



How Is Ergonomics Incorporated At Home?

Ergonomics can be incorporated into the home as well. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or work from home, it is essential to design your house keeping in mind the following points:

The Living Room

Be sure to get couches that are the appropriate height and provide adequate lumbar support to your back. Since couches in the living room are typically the spot we spend the most time on; they should be carefully chosen to ensure that they are not damaging your back.

The Kitchen

Make sure to place your kitchen island, sink and fridge in a triangle so that everything is within reach while you work in the kitchen. Make sure that the tools you get have the right grip so that it doesn't hurt your hands when you work.

The Bedroom

You spend at least 8 hours every night in bed. How you wake up every morning depends on how well you slept the night before, affecting your entire day. You must invest in a good quality bed mattress to provide a comfortable and peaceful sleep.

FlexiSpot has some fantastic mattress options you can invest in for your bedroom and for a peaceful and good night of sleep.

The Final Word

There has been a positive change and awareness about ergonomics. This is great as it has made people aware of their body's needs and to maximize workplace productivity without compromising their physical health. Ergonomics should also be incorporated at home to improve and aid people in daily routine tasks.